London vs New York - New York v London - Which City is Better? Is the Comparison Fair?
Which city is better?
A record number of people left New York city last year, but then again a record number of English people left England (not just London) last year.
Heres a response from a poster called "English Muffin" to this important (is it?) debate from an online forum, perhaps he could shed even more light for us at Sleep New York Forums.
I should imagine that's an under-estimate. We have such a cosy social security program that we are being flooded with 'eastern europeans' (gipsies) who arrive unchecked of rape/murder/assault crimes committed in their own country. So street attacks are common.
There's a growing knife-culture amongst young ethnics who, to avoid detention when caught, hand their blade to a younger brother (who cannot be charged). So knife crimes are common.
The number of immigrants flooding in is so great, the government openly lies about immigration figures. There's a school in one London borough whose pupils speak any of 51 different languages, with little or no english at all. This holds the english kids back as they have to wait while the immigrant children 'learn basic communication skills' so they can 'catch up'.
And after school these kids force their own culture upon their peers - who try to act like them to avoid being stabbed. It's reached the point where english-born white kids speak with an afro-caribbean accent because that's now the majority local accent.
To help rocketing crime the situation, the Labour government introduce
around 2000 new laws a year to incriminate everybody. There are more
CCTV cameras per square foot than any other country in the world. Walk
through any town here and look up. No matter where you are, I guarantee
that you'll be able to see at least a dozen.
Local councils have been granted legal rights to pass their own 'laws'. In some boroughs you can be taken to court and fined for putting your grarbage out on the wrong day. In other boroughs if your garbage can is more than 1.3 metres from the kerb it won't be collected (and you'll be fined).
So many bye-laws, so much crime yet no real increase in policing - so crime does pay over here now. Report a burglar in your house and the police won't even come. Tackle a burglar in your house and you'll be sent to jail because the burglar has more rights than you do - even in your own house.
Suspected terror victims get off fairly easily too because under the 'human rights act' the state must provide them with a state-paid defence lawyer. And because the remuneration from the state is so lucrative, the smartest and best lawyers become human rights defence lawyers. As a result, the lawyers working for the terrorists are smarter than the lowly-paid state lawyers - and so the terrorists win their case and walk free.
So yes, given half a chance, anyone who can see what is going on here is very keen to leave.
A new report has found that Londoners are six times more likely to be robbed or assaulted than New Yorkers, that their cost of living is nearly 40% higher, and that their largest university, the University of London, has just 125,000 students, compared with the City University of New York's 450,000 students.
There are areas where London is more successful. While the two cities have similar populations, London has only about 1,500 homeless, less than half the number in New York.
In addition, London has a far smaller carbon footprint — 41.9 million tons to 72 million tons for New York — and a better reputation. According to the Anholt City Brand Index, which studies the brands of 30 cities, London ranked first and New York seventh. "Most respondents felt they knew more about London than any other city by a wide margin. London was the second most visited city, the top for ease of finding a job, for doing business in, for obtaining a valuable education qualification, and for ease of finding a community to fit in," the report said.
A similar study by another firm also looked at cities' marketing efforts, and placed New York at the top, with London ranking eighth. "This discrepancy undoubtedly reflects the subjective and qualitative nature of 'measuring' image and identity," Mr. Clark wrote.
WHY IS THE THREAD NOT NEW YORK V LONDON, INSTEAD OF LONDON V NEW YORK?
DO YOU THINK THAT LONDON WANTS TO INSTIGATE THE FIGHT?
FROM THE DAILY MAIL HERE
Is it any wonder Britons are leaving in droves?
27 July 2006
There?s a fair chance that you?re reading this in an airport departure lounge or on a plane bound for more agreeable climes.
I was going to say sunnier climes, but the temperatures in Britain lately have been the kind we spend a fortune each year seeking out abroad. Still, there?s a world of difference between lolling around in the sun wearing shorts and T-shirts and sweltering in an office with no air-conditioning or crammed into a crowded commuter train doing a passable imitation of the Black Hole of Calcutta.
After two weeks of living la dolce vita, most of you won?t want to come back. As the ghastliness of your life in Blair?s Britain gradually recedes, you get used to the caterpillar pace of life, the cheap wine and afternoon siestas and begin to think to yourself: ?I could suffer this all year round.?
Strolling the beach, dangling your toes in the pool or relaxing over an exquisite and inexpensive seven-course menu gastronomique, your mind irresistibly begins to embrace the prospect of your number coming up on the escape committee. Every year, hundreds of thousands of us decide to up sticks and emigrate. Close to four million British passport holders now live permanently overseas, if you don?t include the Hong Kong Chinese.
The numbers are rising fast, according to the latest figures. Migrationwatch calculates that as many as 340,000 people are turning their backs on the UK each year.
America, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand have always been favourite destinations, and France has now overtaken Spain as a sanctuary from the madness of modern, multi-cultural, morality-free Britain.
There are also significant settlements of expats in the Yemen, Libya and Sierra Leone. I guess most of the British contingent in Libya must be involved in the oil industry, but it?s come to something when people would voluntarily live under Colonel Gaddafi rather than the Blair Terror.
Many emigrate because that?s where their work takes them. But once there, they tend to stay put. My own family is a case in point. My late father was transferred to America 30 years ago. My mum still lives there and my younger sister, who went with them, is now a U.S. citizen. They enjoy a much better quality of life and standard of living than England has to offer them.
There?s nothing new in this. My dad?s brother became a ?Ten Pound Pom? almost half a century ago and never came back. My grandparents followed him to Australia when grandad retired from the docks. Both lived well into their 90s, not the kind of longevity they could have expected if they?d stayed in East London.
What?s new is the sheer scale of emigration and the reasons for it. Of course, we?ve always had sixtysomethings sitting around on the Costa del Crime lamenting that fings ain?t what they used to be back home.
I thought it was just my age. On turning 50, I became aware of the number of conversations with my peers who were all thinking of getting out for good.
You can?t hail a cab in London without the driver regaling you with his plans to retire to a villa in Benidorm or Tenerife.
But it?s not only the baby-boomer generation cashing in their chips and moving abroad. I?ve been struck by e-mails from young couples in their 20s who have concluded there?s nothing for them here and are seeking a new life elsewhere.
It?s profoundly depressing that so many energetic, qualified young people feel they have no future in the country of their birth ? a nation supposed to be the fourth (or fifth) richest nation on earth. And it?s equally depressing that even larger numbers of older people believe that staying put is a surefire recipe for a miserable old age.
This isn?t all down to economics, although exorbitant housing and transport costs, suffocating taxation and rip-off pricing are major factors.
People look around them and see a country in which nothing seems to work properly, where they are paying through the nose for incompetent and indifferent public services; where they stand a good chance of catching a fatal infection while they?re in hospital, simply because those in charge can?t be bothered with even the basic principles of hygiene; where an education system once the envy of the world has been sacrificed on the altar of social engineering and experimentation; where crime is rife and the law seems always to side with the criminals; where trying to get anywhere is a costly ordeal; where the streets are flooded but there?s a hosepipe ban.
They see government which, at every level, seems to despise
them. They tire of being told to be ashamed of their nationality,
that their traditions are worthless, that they are all closet
Over the past nine years, much of Britain has been utterly transformed. At the heart of it has been Labour?s deliberate decision to abandon our borders and encourage mass immigration from all over the world.
This country has always had a proud record of accepting and assimilating newcomers, but this process has been overwhelmed by the millions who have arrived in the past few years.
You don?t have to be a card-carrying BNP neanderthal to worry about the consequences of this sea-change in our society. It is simply impossible to absorb and assimilate this many people from a myriad of cultures in such a short space of time ? that?s always assuming they want to assimilate, which in the case of many Muslims they don?t.
Neighbourhoods have been transformed almost overnight. Long-standing residents, including ? often especially ? those from the settled immigrant communities, feel threatened. They become strangers in the place they grew up.
They?re not ?racist? ? that hackneyed, catch-all slander
levelled at anyone who voices any misgivings about the level of
immigration. They just didn?t vote for this and weren?t told it was
going to happen.
The new immigration has arguably brought economic benefits, especially if you?re in the market for a nanny or a plumber. But, unarguably, it has also brought problems with rising social tensions, pressures on housing and services, and newcomers undercutting wages and pricing indigenous workers out of a job.
Is it any wonder so many people are turning their backs on Britain? They are convinced Britain has turned its back on them.
Enjoy your holidays. And if while you?re there the grass looks greener, it?s not all because of the hosepipe ban back home.
From ASIFISM.COM AN ARTICLE ABOUT LONDON V NEW YORK - article here
Well, you could say that’s because London is London and New York is New York. Let’s be honest: in the last few years I’ve heard and read various things like London stealing the financial business from New York City, London seeing more growth, London becoming a better all over experience due to immigration and America’s terrorist obsession, etc. etc. But, lets face it, London does not
Filth / Garbage
Well, I’ve been to New York City several times, and I’m not saying it’s like Singapore, but hey, it’s relatively clean, especially when compared to London. Have you seen the trash on the streets of London lately? What’s with all the chewing gum stains on the pavements and the roads? I don’t think New York has that kind of a stain infested issue, does it?
Then, how come people aren’t supposed to clean their dog poo and pee? What in the world is that about? I know this is the land of royalty, but can we please tell people to clean up after their pets? It’s only polite.
Mind you, I’m not saying New York is immaculate, but unless it has become filthier the last few years, I certainly don’t remember it being this dirty. I mean have you been to Marble Arch, Edgware, or Edgware Road lately? I’m sorry, but Edgware reminded me of Karachi for a minute!
Customer Service, you say?
Okay, call me spoilt, but the American saying “the customer is always right” does have its treats. It is so frustrating when you walk into a store in London that no one really gives a damn. The quality of service is horrible. Have you ever been to a bank in London? No one is at the counter, and you have to wait for more than 5 minutes before someone will come to attend to you. It’s the same everywhere you go. Cell phone stores, grocery stores, restaurants, banks, offices, etc., the service is nothing short of horrible.
Customer Service staff, that takes less interest in their lives than probably anyone does, try and lecture you on things like the Data Protection Act and other laws, when they really have no idea what they are talking about. Everyone has an excuse for doing something the wrong way, and no one needs an excuse for not doing anything! It’s a privilege to to get any kind of service in London when you are paying for it. Be it NatWest, Barclays, HSBC, Orange, O2 or any other business, their customer service sucks, which makes for a very unpleasant shopping or service experience.
The US is great at this. I don’t know if it’s because of the out-of-whack US liability laws or simply because they’re smart enough to know that happy customers make good customers, but they do everything it takes to get the job done right. I’m not saying that the level of customer service competence is better in the US, but New York makes for a much more pleasant shopping experience than London. Ask any Brit who’s been to New York. They only have good things to say about it. So many of them want to move there, despite what they think of George Bush and US foreign policy. Well, who can blame them, right?
Ofcourse, outsourcing of customer service over the phone is a problem in both cities/countries. But given the fact that the liability of bad service in the US is greater than it is in the UK, US outsourced customer service is much better. I guess this strings from the fact that no major corporations in the US are government owned or government vested, as British Telecom is, say, in the UK.
Who’s more friendly? New Yorkers or Londoners?
Everyone in London is upset most of the time. This may be due to traffic, poverty, expenditure, tourists, or whatever. But hey, New Yorkers are just as fed up of the crap at their end. But my experience is that Americans are generally much more friendly than the British. In school, we used to read of British Hospitality and all that good stuff. Well, most of it has apparently faded, at least in the working class. Who knows why that is. I guess life in London is more difficult than in New York City, which makes for crankier Londoners than New Yorkers.
If you’ve seen the phrase “Welcome to New York” used in movies when something goes wrong with someone in New York, well, it is just as suitable for London, if not more. But maybe Londoners don’t share the same sense of humour!
Okay, this has a lot to do with the low drinking age and the excessive use of drugs. That’s just not cool, because kids get rowdy and rude and puke all over the place in London, which ads more to the existing dirt, which isn’t cool either. I’m not going say too much about this, except that this needs to stop, and infusion of drugs into London teenagers needs to be controlled urgently, because this is not only a hassle for us who live here, but even for those who are visiting for fun.
The Fascination Factor
This may be subjective, but I clearly remember the first time I visited NYC (let’s not count Brooklyn or Queens, shall we?). I stepped out of the Subway Station o 5th Avemue and I stood in awe at skyscraper after skyscraper. The impression that New York makes on a new or first time visitor is far superior to the one that London makes, and Londoners will tell you that. New York is a City that’s built to look like a Metropolis, and it certainly feels like one. London may have big city life, but I think it fails to make that impression that adds to the initial buzz of being in one of the world’s most dynamic cities.
Oh my! New York City has more variety in food than London does. New York City’s portion size is much larger (as is the rest of America’s), and the cost is far less. Also, since I think Americans are far more passionate about eating (compare the obesity rate between the US and UK at 38% and 33 %, respectively), the overall taste and experience of dining and food in New York City is better than in London.
And for those of you who say Americans pig out and don’t enjoy their food, well, the obesity gap isn’t that much, and here is news for some of you: New York City is the world’s first city to ban trans fat in restaurants. That’s right. I think the law kicks in in June, but now who cares more about the health of tourists and residents?
Bloomberg Vs. Livingstone
Come on now, there’s no comparison. The New York Mayor (Michael Bloomberg) is much cooler than London Mayor Ken Livingstone. Bloomberg, that just sounds much cooler than Livingstone. Need I say more?
The Experience (Corporate, mostly)
After having lived in the US for several years (and not really having lived in New York), I think that London, and forgive me for saying this, is like an American village. I’ve already mentioned that London doesn’t feel as Metropolitan as New York; but even Denver or Dallas feel more metropolitan than London. Well, maybe I’ll discount Dallas from that.
There are many reasons for that, but I think a lot of it has to do with British mentality and culture.
The Corporate Culture of London is, at best, outdated, compared to the corporate culture anywhere in the US. The technology in use, the ideology, the methodology all is about 20-25 years behind the US. I think the reason for that is the traditional approach of British Businessmen. They like to stick to what they’re comfortable with, and then British pride knows no end. Since the UK isn’t exactly the pioneer of new technology or British methodologies, British business is hesitant about adapting to it, with the result say, if the CEO or Managing Director of a major corporation has been in charge for 10 years, he technology in place is 10 years old. Until a younger crowd comes to manage the company, the technology won’t change, because each generation, I think, in this country, brings an update to technology and methodologies.
That’s not the case in the US, which is a dynamic environment that thrives on new processes, technologies, and methodologies. Things are always being improved, with the ultimate goal to weed out inefficiencies in the business processes.
When I was in the US, I used to hear how much ahead of the US Europe was in the cell phone market. Well, not really. Just because the US has a different release schedule for mobile phones and they use different cell phone networks doesn’t make their service or technology inferior. London has more mobile/cell phone signal problems than I ever had in the US driving from Colorado to New York. So, you shouldn’t really believe every such thing you hear.
In addition, the US, to this day, and even NYC, provides a positive corporate culture for new entrants. It is an environment where you can get a job or thrive on merit alone, at least upto a comfortable level, if not a super rich level. In London, merit doesn’t really count; you have to know people to get to even very junior places, and that kind of stuff is just not cool. But I think, again, it is something that comes out of the culture of royalty, and although it may be a bad thing, it has become a way of life that the locals are used to. More power to them! I guess as long as you know who you know, what you know is not really important.
Let’s just say that I’m trying to say that the Business Acumen of London is nowhere close to that of New York, or any other major US city. That doesn’t mean the London economy is very small, we’re just talking about business acumen and business intelligence.
In a few words, New York provides MUCH BETTER value for money than London does. Living, shopping, partying, everything in New York City is half price of what it is in London. Throw in the other factors mentioned, and New York makes for a far superior experience.
Okay, this may not have been the most comprehensive guide to London and New York, but it’s just my opinion, which means it may be prejudiced, biased,or simply ill founded. But nonetheless, it is my opinion. Personally, I preferred Denver. It had most of the advantages of a big city without the rutt and problems. But then, it’s neither London nor New York.
What do you think?
AND YOU WILL SEE SOME INTERESTING READER COMMENTS THERE ABOUT THE LONDON V NEW YORK DEBATE TOO
I’ve been to New York a lot. I love the roof top bars. Ava penthouse lounge. You can see time square from this duplex. Also have you seen Columbus circle lately. Its pretty awsume. Giant fountains and a great view of central park and broadway. Its like an oasis in the middle of Manhatten. A lot of clubbers and bar hoppers go here to chill. And the Hudson bar nearby is one of the coolest bars I’ve ever seen. Its gota a whole New York vibe. New York is Unique because it has a preasentness that can’t be dublicated. Every minnute is different. Things don’t last long in New York its one downfall is history gets eaten up by the preasent. But having very little visable history it becomes a place alive with the here and now.no other city on Earth has this. Historeans go into a period of Verigo and dissyness before figuring out wear the history is. That’s how preasent minded New York is.
For me, New York’s WOW factor was far stronger than London. To me, Americans were more friendly than most people in London (not counting the Homeland Security and Immigration Officials, they’re the most miserable Americans you’ll find). Of course, more than half of London suffers from excessive tension, workload, poverty and class competition that makes them miserable. Living space is small, rent is high, groceries cost more, and I don’t care where you’re living, the US offers the best package as far as lifestyle and cost of living are concerned. It provides a combination where anyone can survive, and those who work hard get rewarded. In London, you’ll have to slave to get rewarded, which is why half the professional adults that I know live in shared accomodation. You’ve got to be kidding me. You’re 35 and a professional, and you can’t afford to pay rent on a 2 bedroom flat in zone 3 or zone 4, something’s wrong about that.
Lastly, yes, in the US, merit is a major driving factor, and you can get to a comfortable level on merit alone. Americans will complain just like the Brits do because nobody local wants to do the hard and dirty work. I wasn’t from the US, and I got my foot in the door and up the ladder rather easily. Also, and dare I say this risking criticism, some black people in America have made a habit of complaining, because it’s rather easy playing the race card and trying to get things turned your way.
In conclusion, I respect everything you say; but I still stand by my opinion. Call it what you want, there’s a reason why the Brits ruled the world and have been forced to shrink down back to the small island. Somebody, somewhere didn’t get it right, and it shows to someone who may have seen something better.
If you read The London Paper a couple of weeks ago, it discussed Madonna’s comments about the bad traffic situation in London, be it on the road or on the tube. Someone called Lori had an awesome reply, which said something to the effect of “Britain is a third world country masquerading as a developed nation.”
Interestingly enough, it may have third world similarities, but then a hefty chunk third world countries were British Colonies, so you are bound to see similarities.
The photo taking and getting interrogated stuff does dazzle my mind. I have a friend who got interrogated for taking photos when he was here in holiday. It may be the perfect way to rid London of excessive tourisits, but it is by no means the right thing to do.
Then again, do Londoners feel more secure?
Everyone is ‘Peed Off’ in London because they know that their EVERY MOVE is being monitored by CCTV cameras.
How would YOU like it being constantly surveyed all the time.
We’re afraid to breathe incase we breathe the wrong way and get FINED for it.
Do the Yanks get motoring fines dictated by CCTV footage evidence??
Well we do now.
We can also get arrested for taking photo’s in public places.
Or even being proud to be British.
Do the Yanks even Know they’re born??
Do you wonder why the British seem so miserable??
You’ve got it lucky, even though you’ve still got ‘Mad Bush’ for a little longer.
WHAT A GREAT ARTICLE
WHAT FASCINATING COMMENTS
WHAT A GREAT CONTRIBUTION TO THE LONDON V NEW YORK DEBATE, PROBABLY ONE OF THE BEST I HAVE SEEN ON THE INTERNET
London is what it is, I don't think that too many people really care about how it is perceived by others - but stand to be corrected on that - because they are too busy trying to live there and "fight the city" just to survive the day at the office, pub or wherever. The traffic there is terrible and the Underground is small, too far underground, and dirty. London just seems to be a deeply "serious about itself" place.
New York on the other hand seems to be like a huge college dorm, in constant party mode where people can really relax, maybe its all those Londoners here relaxing and partying that gives it that feeling.
I still think Miami v New York is a better comparison, its like Big City v Big Beach lifestyles of the rich and partysome compared. London can be a little too serious to be compared to NY.
Some people in London are on about 11,000 GBP a year, that's not a lot of money. I don't think that New York has that much poverty or what the average wage is, but here is an Englishman's point of view.
Interesting video GT.
Here's an old but outstanding article from the Gotham Gazette discussing the differences between London and New York in terms of ease of living with civil liberties, if you google for London v New York liberties and rights you will probably find more.
From the Gotham Gazette in 2006
London and NYC Compared On Surveillance, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, etc.
by Andy Humm
23 Mar 2006
I just spent a week in London where I was photographed about 300 times a day. No, the paparazzi were not interested in the civil rights topic page writer for Gotham Gazette. That is the average number of times someone in London is captured daily on closed circuit television cameras – whether in the Underground (their subway), driving into the city, or just walking along the street. The police force for the city’s square-mile financial district (called, confusingly, the City of London), photographs every person and every vehicle that comes within its boundaries.
Now, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has announced that the city will use $9.1 million in federal homeland security funds to install 505 surveillance cameras in 253 locations around the city -- and will be pushing to do what London has done, create what the department is calling a “ring of steel” around the financial district in downtown Manhattan, photographing every person and vehicle coming south of Chambers Street.
This is far from the only idea that New Yorkers have taken from our sister city -- or that some New Yorkers are advocating -- on a range of matters from transportation to security. A high number of them seem to involve civil liberties in one way or another. But in recent incidents touching on such matters, the cities are not exactly clones of one another -- and the contrast in their approaches may be instructive.
Recognizing Same-Sex RelationshipsLondon has leap-frogged New York in the recognition of same-sex relationships, performing more than 700 “civil partnerships” in just a single month after they became legally available on December 21. The new United Kingdom law accords gay couples most of the rights of marriage, unlike the limited rights New York City has granted through domestic partnerships starting in the early 1990s.
New York City does recognize same-sex marriages -- but only if they have been performed legally elsewhere such as Canada. Mayor Mike Bloomberg is in court fighting against the obligation of the city to give marriage licenses to gay couples, a case that will be heard by New York State’s high court on May 31 in Albany. If the gay couples prevail, New York will still not catch up to London because the United States prohibits federal recognition of same-sex marriages no matter what the states may do.
Mayors And Free SpeechWhile Republican Bloomberg was chastised by civil libertarians for his approach to free speech when he curbed mass demonstrations in New York against the Iraq War in March 2003 and the Republican National Convention in 2004, Mayor Ken Livingstone of London, a Socialist in the Labour Party, participates in his city’s protests of the war policies of President Bush and Prime Minister Blair. Now Bloomberg is scoring points with First Amendment protectors by refusing to fire the Correction Department’s top chaplain, Imam Abdul-Jalil for anti-Zionist remarks he made outside of work.
Perhaps the strangest debate over free speech is being waged over something Livingstone said that prompted a quasi-governmental board to order his suspension from office for a month beginning March 1. He appealed to the courts and the suspension was stayed.
In February 2005, Livingstone got into a verbal contretemps with a reporter he despises from the Evening Standard newspaper. He asked the reporter, Oliver Finegold, whether he had ever been a "German war criminal." The Guardian reported, "On being told that the reporter objected to the remark and was Jewish, the mayor said: 'Ah, well you might be but actually you are just like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren't you?'''
The Board of Deputies of British Jews complained to something called the Adjudication Panel, "the government body which deals with serious disciplinary cases involving local government," the paper wrote. They judged the mayor's remarks "insensitive" and sanctioned him because he was unapologetic.
Richie Nimmo of Manchester wrote to the Guardian, the suspension "is just the latest example of a creeping orthodoxy in British public life, according to which you cannot say anything that offends anyone if it can be construed to be in any way connected to their ethnic or religious identity. The placing of community relations above freedom of expression, satire and vigorous argument, whether in the form of the cancellation of a theatre production in Birmingham, the self-censorship of cartoons across Britain or the suspension of an elected representative in London, is a sinister development."
In his own essay in the same paper, Livingstone wrote, "The fundamental issue in this whole affair is not whether or not I was 'insensitive,' it is the principle that those whom the people elect should only be removed by the people or because they have broken the law."
If New York mayors could be suspended for "insensitive" remarks, Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani might not have served more than a few weeks between them. Koch used to brag about "giving ulcers, not getting them." And Giuliani did things like calling an innocent man killed by the police "no altar boy," based on sealed juvenile records he was under no authority to release. Both mayors suffered a dip in the polls attributed to such off-the-cuff remarks.
Recently, Giuliani called upon his fellow Italian Americans to lighten up about their criticisms that one of his favorite TV shows, HBO's "The Sopranos," defames their ethnic group. "You could spend your whole life wanting to be insulted," he told the New York Times. "Why?” Of course, Giuliani acted deeply offended when a portrait at the Brooklyn Museum of Mary, the mother of Jesus, was displayed because it contained elephant dung. He tried to get the city to reduce the museum’s subsidy, an effort blocked in court because it involved government censorship.
The Flap Over “My Name is Rachel Corrie"While not a civil liberties issue because it does not involve censorship by the state, one of the most direct contrasts between London and New York involves a play called "My Name is Rachel Corrie." When it was mounted at the Royal Court Theatre in London, it was a sold-out hit. But a planned production of it at New York Theater Workshop was postponed, provoking much debate over self-censorship in the arts.
The play, by noted actor Alan Rickman and Kathleen Viner, is drawn from the diaries of Corrie, a 23-year old American who three years ago “was killed by an Israeli Army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip as she tried to protect a Palestinian home,” the New York Times reported. After James Nicola, the artistic director of the New York Theater Workshop, spoke to "friends and colleagues in the artistic community and to religious leaders as well as to representatives of the Jewish community, because the play involved Israeli action" (as he explains in a note on the theater company's Web site), he made the decision to postpone the production: "As we listened to various opinions and read thousands of entries on websites and blogs, we realized we needed to find ways to let Rachel’s words rise above the polemics. We regret that requesting more time to achieve that goal was interpreted as failing to fulfill a commitment and, worse, as censorship."
"I don't think we were worried about the audience," he told the New York Times. "I think we were more worried that those who had never encountered her writing, never encountered the piece, would be using this as an opportunity to position their arguments.”
Nicola has been attacked by everyone from 2005 British Nobel Prize winner Harold Pinter to Tony Award winning playwright Tony Kushner, whose work is often produced at the Workshop. Viner, writing in the Guardian where she is an editor, said, “Since when did theatre come to be about those who don't go to see it? If the play itself, as Mr. Nicola clearly concedes, is not the problem, then isn't the answer to get people in to watch it, rather than exercising prior censorship? With freedom of speech now at the top of the international agenda, and George Clooney's outstanding ‘Good Night, and Good Luck’ reminding us of the dangers of not standing up to witch-hunts, Americans should not be denied the right to hear Rachel Corrie's words -- words that only two weeks ago were deemed acceptable.”
The play will now get a West End (their equivalent of Broadway) production in London starting on March 28, and the search for another American producer is currently underway.
The Right to ProtestLondon is an easier place to protest publicly, despite all the security. Anti-war demonstrators are virtually camped out 24 hours a day on the sidewalk directly across from the entrance to Parliament, unthinkable these days either at City Hall or at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. During the world-wide protests at the start of the Iraq War in February 2003, demonstrators in London had the run of the town and paraded right past the Houses of Parliament. In New York, the police department prevented marchers from going past the United Nations and even from joining the demonstration on the side streets to which it was restricted.
When I was in London, I passed a peaceful anti-war vigil of about 40 people in Trafalgar Square one evening. There were no police in sight. In New York a few months ago, by contrast, a small picket of housing activists working for home rule on rent regulation laws was not only prevented from marching past the home of Mayor Michael Bloomberg on East 79th Street, but there were swarms of cops and virtually everyone in the demonstration was photographed and videotaped by a police unit.
On the other hand, there may have been no effective difference in the surveillance: After all, the London demonstrators were no doubt picked up by the omnipresent closed circuit cameras.
Surveillance, Security and Civil LibertiesNew York frequently follows London’s lead in instituting security measures. It wasn’t directly after 9/11 or when Spain’s commuter trains were bombed by terrorists in 2004 that New York began making spot bag checks for people entering the subways; it was when London was attacked this past July.
And now the New York Police Department is proposing to take London's lead in saturation surveillance of Wall Street, and reportedly contemplating similar treatment for midtown Manhattan as well. There is also a plan to install closed circuit cameras throughout our subway system, which is scheduled for completion in 2008.
Those who advocate for such heightened surveillance echo the sentiments of Jack Gin, who heads a private security company in Great Britain called Extreme CCTV: “I suggest that without security, we would lose the foundation upon which civil liberties exist," he said shortly after the London bombings. "Without security, we would have no freedom."
The New York Civil Liberties Union sees it differently: “What's next? A GPS [Global Positioning System] tracking device on every bumper? Cameras in our living rooms? Where does it end?” Donna Lieberman and Christopher Dunn of the New York Civil Liberties Union asked in the Daily News.
Critics point to a 2005 study of closed circuit TV surveillance in 14 British cities, which found that it had no significant effect on crime in 13 of them, mostly due to understaffing of monitors and poor images at night. They did play a key role in identifying the July 7 Underground and bus bombers, but only after they had done their deeds.
Liberty, the British equivalent of the American Civil Liberties Union, is wary of the misuses of images captured by all the TV cameras. But the organization is more stirred up about proposals for the future -- a national identification card and a national registry, which, it says, " will fundamentally change the relationship between the individual and the state,” intrude on privacy, and adversely affect race relations without having a real impact on crime and terrorism.
But if in some ways London has instituted, and is contemplating, stricter security measures than those in New York, in other ways they are less strict. Bag checks are not a routine experience in London. The British Museum and most others do not ask to look into the bags of people entering, whereas guards at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York always do so now.
Great read there thanks.
There is an article in the Guardian now here about new measures being introduced in England to stop drunken behavior on the streets.
Some of the comments include these:
This is NOT the solution. And I say this as a man who has been assaulted by a group of 4 people outside a pub where I worked.
The problem is not alcohol, but certain young people who have not an iota of respect for the feelings of others. This sense of entitlement, this perception that indulging their impulses takes precdence over other considerations is a deep-seated malaise in British society. Restraint and consideration for others have become laughable phrases. In undermining previously established codes of behaviour as part of a bogus exercise in egalitariansim, Britain has thrown out the baby with the bath water. It is typical of this labour Government to try and solve this issue with a sticking plaster, another peice of legislation that erodes are freedoms. God I'll be glad when their gone.
We seem to have a broken society where people don't have any respect for the person standing next to them. Answers to why that is would take more than a day or 2 posting on here but if we tried to get to the bottom of why people are so angry with their lot then we would be heading in the right direction.
This is a serious issue that in my travels around the world is mocked by people from North America to Asia. It mars the reputation of Britain globally. As does this ineffective government.
The Telegraph had this article earlier this year
New York v London: people are nicer when they feel safe
By Janet Daley
In New York last week, I was struck once more by two of the most startling differences between that city and London: the first 1 which presumably comes as a shock to most British tourists who believe New York to be a tough, impersonal city 1 is the extraordinary good nature and friendliness of the population. The easy pleasantness of all those countless exchanges one has with strangers on the street, in shops and in restaurants produces an infectious sense of optimism and well1being that is irresistible.
The second is the highly visible police presence. There may, at first, seem to be something rather paradoxical about this: why, when the atmosphere (at least in Manhattan1 I can’t speak for the South Bronx) seems so unthreatening, should it be necessary to have so many uniformed police readily available on foot and clearly poised for action in cars? But the question actually answers itself: New York was not such a friendly town before the Giuliani/Bratton police reforms which not only reduced the crime rate dramatically but also brought anti1social behaviour under control. Moral of the story: people behave better when they feel secure, when they are not alienated by the hostility and disorder of their own surroundings. When the civil authorities live up to their reponsibilities by maintaining order and the rule of law, they reinforce a sense of community. So ordinary citizens believe themselves to be safe 1 and when they believe that they are safe, they can treat each other with civility and even open kindness.
London Lawyer on WNY said something about London which I have never really understood
Yes. London is one of the greatest places on earth. Other outstanding
cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, SF, Chicago, Boston, HK, etc.
pale in comparison to it. Along with NY, it is the greatest business
and media center. And along with NY and Paris, it is the world's
greatest cultural center. In addition, it is extremely vibrant and
international. Ergo, Dr. Johnson's statement remains true.
Other outstanding cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, SF, Chicago, Boston, HK, etc. pale in comparison to it.
Everyone has a different opinion - they see it from their own perspective.
Ive read some of LL's posts too, and voila - how about that! He likes London!
Saying that SF, Chicago or HK pale in comparison to London is however, wrong.
Saying that London is the worlds greatest cultural center is also wrong, NY is miles ahead of London.
Dr Johnson, if he were alive today, would fall over if he saw what NY has become.
But which city is cleaner? New York is often touted as being dirty. And in some parts, and with some neighborhoods, it can be.
But I read this on the wayback machine search to see a comparison with London to see how dirty New York is compared to London. This comment from WNY in 2002 can be read here.
"Oh to hell with this. If you want to see a dirty,smelly city outside of Asia come to London. It stinks.
There are very few Londoners living in London any more so maybe that has something to do with it. Most of us have abandoned our once beautiful capital city and those who are are left are leaving any time now. The description of Detroit on another forum applies very much to London these days.
I wonder how many ex-Londoners are living in New York these days? Mostly those with loads of dosh. Bitter? Of course I f*ck
Just take a look at the people in the cities: Architecture is one thing - but it is the people who make up the city.
Icon DA Morganthau v London's Keir Starmer - no competition there as to who is the bigger figure
Mayor Bloomberg v Boris Johnson - I think Bloomberg gets the win
Actors, musicians, men and women of industry - take anyone and the NYer will always come out as somewhat more impressive.
I mean does Branson even live in London?
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